Rapid RE Retreat: Looming Winter Blackouts Force Greeks to Reignite Coal-Fired Plants

In the abstract, the ‘inevitable transition’ to an all wind and sun-powered future is easy, the kicker comes when reality bites; the sun sets and calm weather sets in.

The Greeks, like the Germans, have been talking long and loud about killing off every last one of their coal-fired power plants, denigrating them as “dirty”, evil polluting monsters. All the while promising that sunshine and breezes will readily fill the void.

Like the Germans, Greeks have found that all the cheap talk about wind and solar replacing coal, is just that.

In the first part of 2021, German wind power output plummeted by more than 20%, while at the same time Germany’s coal-fired power generators increased output by a whopping 38%. This is in a country where coal-fired power is meant to be as dead as the dodo.

The writing was on the wall when Germany mandated the shutdown of 11 coal-fired plants (with a capacity of 4.7 GW) to take place on 1 January 2021. Eight days later, with a grid on the brink of collapse, the Germans quietly restarted them; blaming calm weather, no less, on their rapid renewables retreat. Embarrassing, to be sure. But, such is life, when you pin your energy hopes on the weather.

Now the Greeks are getting their taste of RE-ality and, all of a sudden, coal-fired power is very much back in vogue. Funny about that!

Pierre Gosselin takes a look at another humbling experience of those who believe that coal-fired power is yesterday’s news.

Greece Puts Coal Power Plants Shut Down in 2019 Back Into Operation … To Avert Winter Blackouts!
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
8 December 2021

Greek green follies fail…a U-turn back to coal
Until recently, Greece was one of the largest operators of lignite-fired power plants in Europe, but in 2019 the new government took on the goal of shutting down all coal-fired power plants by 2023 and going green by 2030.

But that has turned out to be easier said than done. Greece now is putting lignite-fired power plants back into operation after a recent study by Greek electricity regulator RAE found the supply was at risk, especially in the cold winter months – due to the lack of reliable baseload power supply.

Natural gas too expensive
“With the rapid shutdown of the coal-fired power plants, electricity generation by gas-fired power plants in Greece rose to a total of 42 percent. However, Greece does not have natural gas reserves and therefore has to import the gas at a high price, making the price of electricity increasingly expensive and unaffordable for many Greeks.” reports Blackout News here. “Now the government is making a U-turn and wants to put the lignite-fired power plants that have already been shut down back into operation. For this reason, it is having the already dismantled power plants rebuilt.”

Expensive energy folly 
In 2019, the new Greek government had the brilliant idea of shutting down all coal plants and going green – but wound up having to burn expensive gas and realizing it was costing too much. In summary: Dismantle the coal plants, use something that doesn’t work, and now go back to coal: An expensive and totally unnecessary energy folly.

Still, the Greek government still aims to change over more to wind and solar and so has already passed a new law to reduce the approval process for wind farms on the islands in the Aegean Sea to 150 days instead of several years.

Environmentalists against wind Aegean wind farms – no investors
Yet Blackout News reports that environmentalists are critical of wind farms in the Aegean Sea, especially Greenpeace Greece, who complain there’s neither any real planning nor designated areas where wind farms could be built.

Moreover, wind park construction licenses were granted for the island of Amorgos. “However, the plants have not been built to date. The potential investors have probably lost interest,” reports Blackout News.

So until they figure it all out, coal will be keeping the Greeks warm and the lights on.
No Tricks Zone

Reliable power: back in vogue.

via STOP THESE THINGS

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December 21, 2021 at 12:33AM

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